#PetrocReads5 Reading Challenge – A great success!

In February Learning Technologies and Library services challenged all staff and students to read and review at least 5 books before the end of the academic year.

Over 150 staff and students signed up and between them they read over 260 books ranging from Great Expectations to Danny Champion of the World!

28 readers completed the challenge and many said that they had read more as a result of signing up and that they had really enjoyed getting back into reading for pleasure.collage

Readers who really wanted to challenge themselves had to select a book from each of 5 different genres and while quite a few did manage to complete this more advanced challenge, for some, the challenge was simply to complete 5 books of their choice. We were delighted that so many signed up – many online through a Google form which we created and made available on our Library page but also through manual sign up sheets for students less digitally inclined. We asked readers to write a review of each book that they read, either posting it online through a forum on our Moodle page or filling out a special book review form. We were able to monitor progress as these were handed in or posted. Readers were also invited to post on Twitter @PetrocLTLS  using #PetrocReads5 about books they were reading and we used this thread to share reading ideas and other book related chat.

To encourage students to sign up and keep reading we were able to offer monthly draw prizes very generously supplied by Scott Cinemas, Barnstaple and Merlin Cinemas, Tiverton as well as the Liberty Centre and Exe Cafes at Petroc. We also offered a draw for all completers which included prizes kindly donated by Queen’s Theatre Barnstaple and Tiverton Community Arts Theatre.

We were delighted to invite many of the students who had taken part to a tea party where they were presented with specially designed certificates to celebrate their reading over the year and all completers received an e-certificate in recognition of their achievement.

We have hugely enjoyed the #PetrocReads5 Challenge as have our readers and we look forward to making the challenge even bigger and better next year!!






Lets get Petroc reading with #PetrocReads5!

The spring term is all about getting our students into books and reading.

#PetrocReads5 Front Moodle sizeWe are very pleased to launch #PetrocReads5, where we challenge all staff and students to read 5 books between February 1st and June 30th.  Each month there will be a draw for all those who have posted a book review on our Moodle Forum and earned themselves a badge, with pairs of cinema tickets up for grabs. There will also be a Grand Draw at the end of June for all those who complete the challenge. Everybody can join the conversation on Twitter @PetrocLTLS #PetrocReads5 for ideas on what to read next.

Petroc staff and students can sign up here.



eResource – Anatomy.TV

At Petroc College, we provide some fantastic online resources for both staff and students. All resources talked about over the next few months can be found in our eResources page on the LTLS Moodle; for more information on each resource, you can also find descriptions and help videos on the same page.

Anatomy TV

Need a detailed 3D human anatomy without cutting someone up? Access Anatomy.TV today via our eResources!


eResource – A-level Magazine Archive

At Petroc College, we provide some fantastic online resources for both staff and students. All resources talked about over the next few months can be found in our eResources page on the LTLS Moodle; for more information on each resource, you can also find descriptions and help videos on the same page.

A-level Magazine Archive 2

So let’s start this off with the Phillip Allen online archive (or A-Level review magazines) which contains 14 review titles related to A-Levels. We have the latest editions of each in our libraries, however, the bonus of the online version is that most of the reviews are backdated as far as 1993!


Blended Newsletter

Want more updates on what the Learning Technologies and Library Services team are up to? You’re in luck! Our Blended Newsletter comes out every month to let you know exactly what our services are about, and any important updates you need to know. Click here to be taken to our Newsletter online, or drop into the Library, Learning Centre or Learning Resources room to sit and have a read!

An excellent resource for print-disabled learners

A student with a severely impaired sight visited the Petroc library last week looking for books on his reading list. He needed books in a PDF or eBook format that he could find and download easily onto his iPad so that he could listen using his text to speech reader.

After a bit of research we came across RNIB bookshare. This is a fabulous resource of textbooks across a broad range of subjects and levels provided for print-disabled learners including those with dyslexia or who are blind or partially sighted.

Petroc library has now registered and been approved as an educational institution which means that we can create lists of titles for individual students which they can access easily. They can download individual titles in PDF, Epub or a structured Word document format onto their personal devices for use with their preferred readers.

Our student was delighted and now has straight forward access quite a few of the books from his list. Teaching staff with other visually impaired students who might benefit from this service are invited to contact the library.


Changes to our Physical and Virtual spaces, update 2!

All three of the physical learning spaces at Petroc have had a redesign over the summer. The largest change was moving the Library (North Devon Campus) upstairs, so the service is all on one level. librarynew

This is almost complete, extra computers have been added to the Study Space and we are just waiting to redesign and move into the Tech Hub (previously the Guidance Centre).

The Learning Centre at Mid Devon Campus has seen the Library stock move location to the room at the back of the centre, allowing this to become a much more flexible learning space.



Finally the Learning Resources room at Brannams campus has had extra stock added, more storage space and the issue desk relocated, making this room a lot brighter and friendlier to use.




If this was not enough to keep the LTLS team busy, we have also updated and made changes our Virtual Learning space: Moodle. The front page has been redesigned and a new adaptable theme installed , allowing all course pages to be viewed correctly whatever device is being used to view it.


The Learning Technologies and Library Services page has also been completely redesigned to allow easier access to our online resources. We have also invested in more e-Resources for the new academic year to support learning, providing 24/7 access to quality and reliable information. Please ask the LTLS team for further information on how to embed these resources into teaching and learning.

LTLS page new

We are looking forward to seeing all our learners, new and returners and the academic staff when term starts in September and we hope you like our new spaces as much as we do.


Our Learning Spaces are Changing

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Since the end of the summer term, work has started on some major changes that are happening to both the North Devon and Mid Devon Learning Technologies and Library spaces.

At Mid Devon campus, all book stock in the Learning Centre has been moved into a new dedicated space within the centre (previously used as a base for Student Support).  The result is simple access to current and relevant stock, supported by a huge online catalogue of e-books and e-resources.

At North Devon campus, the whole of the Library from the ground floor is in the process of being moved upstairs into A45.  The Library will flow into the Study Centre which will join the new Tech Hub, currently used as the Guidance Centre whose services are moving onto the ground floor.

At both campuses, the aim for the beginning of September is to create personalised welcoming spaces which focus on providing a blended and comprehensive service to all learners and staff in college.

At North Devon campus, this begins as the learners enter the college and continues on entering the Learning Technology and Library spaces.  Staff will be able to receive training on a range of different digital technologies in the Tech Hub, in addition to getting support on the use of Moodle and Google platforms in their teaching.  Learners will have an identifiable space to go to for WiFi support and connecting mobile devices, and there will be a dedicated desk for issuing audio-visual equipment, laptops etc.  There will also be a silent study room and a bookable space with whiteboard for small group study.   The Study Centre will have extensive PC access and space to study with laptops being issued to students and the new Library will provide a lovely light, modern space for study and learning.

So, watch this space, (actually, quite literally all of our spaces!), and we will update on progress throughout the holidays.





Reading Ahead 2017 – Mid Devon

Monday 26th June saw the learners who completed the Reading Ahead challenge at the Mid Devon campus awarded with their certificates in the Lecture Theatre. 25 learners took part and we were really pleased to have all 25 complete. Learners read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books, poems, magazines and newspaper articles to complete the challenge.

Reading Ahead 1

Mark Challacombe, Assistant Principal for Mid Devon Campus was on hand to give out the certificates and Subway vouchers and to congratulate each learner on completing the challenge.

Reading Ahead 5

A £5 Amazon voucher was awarded to Robert and Hattie for the best reviews, and Matthew won the draw for a £15 Amazon voucher – well done!

Reading Ahead 6

So congratulations to the 25 learners who took part in the challenge this year, we look forward to running it again next year.

Reading Ahead 2017 Completed!


Thursday 22nd June was a special day for all who competed in the Reading Ahead challenge at Barnstaple Petroc campus. We held a celebratory presentation event in the Library, where Jane and Sarah eagerly presented to our Reading Ahead competitors their certificates of completion! (with a few extra goodies thrown in, including a Subway Voucher and a 2 for 1 cinema ticket each). And of course, it’s not a celebration without some cake and refreshments!P1010717

A few of our students couldn’t make it to the event, so Sarah and Jane went over to congratulate them and hand them their certificates.P1010716 - use this

We were sorry not to see a few others who had finished the challenge, and hope to get their certificates to them soon with help from their teachers. We would also like to say a massive thank you to the tutors, lecturers and teaching assistants who helped to get their students interested in completing the Reading Ahead Challenge again this year, and hope to work with you again next year with the usual participants, and a whole new group of challengers.

P1010740So, a big congratulations to our 15 students who read at least 6 books over the course of the event, and we hope to get more of you participating again next year for the 2018 Reading Ahead Challenge!